Really? Only once?
Those words denote the beginning of a story but do you see how they hold the end in their hands? It was but it is no longer. Once it was, but now, it's not. Once but never again. I wonder who used the words for the first time and if they knew what a weight they were investing them with. If we dwell too long or too often on what once was, how can we enjoy what we have now?
What to do? How to capture and hold those ephemeral onces in our minds, keep them in our care? Our puny minds aren't made to hold each moment. We shed them like skin, like scales, a mist of memories and moments trail behind us, a path of what was back to the beginning of our story.
Once I was young, and fairly carefree, and I had my entire life in front of me. I didn't know and probably didn't care that the once upon a time that threaded the beginnings of all the stories applied to my own as well. That once it began to unravel, it would go faster and faster, and I would never be able to stop it. I'm only here for the ride; so are we all.
Another year unreels, or else I am reeling it in, inside my self, looping it like a new intestine deep in my abdomen where it will join the other years that have gone before, tangled up in the very bowels of my being. When I have reeled in all my years, then my time is done. But you never know, do you, how many years of reeling you still have. Once upon a time you had them all.
It's not when you are full, because my god, we're never full. Too full for life? Phooey! We can always take another bite of a new day; there's nothing tastier (did I really just say Phooey?). Each bite a new beginning of a new once upon a time. Each once upon a time flashing past until, with a sound like a cry in the night, the chain of days is gone from our grasping hands and we are left, bereft.